Some scary info on counterfeitting...


older, not wiser
Dec 16, 2005
As some of you may recall from previous posts I am writing a paper this semester on the issues for the criminal justice professional/administrator regarding counterfeiting.

I stated that as I delved more into my topic I would share what I was learning with you all.

Well, call this my first installment of counterfeit news:

This scared the s**t out of me: Excerpt taken direct from the novel: Knockoff: the deadly trade in counterfeit goods, by, Tim Phillips.

In Moscow boutiques the following occurs:
they don't order the quantity they sell. They order 30 percent of the quantity, the other 70 percent they make as counterfeits to sell as the real product in the shop, and it costs them much less; they employ people to make counterfeit product to order. I know two people one in Turkey, one in China, whose job this is.

Now in Italy the issue gets more complicated/muddied:

for Italian designers the domestic counterfeit problem often stems from a policy of intentional overruns. A factory that is contracted to make 1,000 will make 1,500 (refers to handbags), and won't sew labels into the last 500, knowing that whey they reach the market stall (stalls in italy flea-markets) the stall owner will lean over and whisper in the customer's ear: it's original.

Why does an Hermes birkin cost $6,000:

each bag is stitched by hand; each one takes up to 18 hours to make in one of three tiny workshops in France.

Jennifer Lopez was sent a cease and desist letter when Hermes investigators found out she intended to give all the guests at her cancelled wedding a knock-off Birkin as a souvenier. It was the Jelly-Kelly bag, and yes, Hermes considers these counterfeit Birkins.

In Italy, you can find the quality leather and quality workmanship you need (for counterfeiting):
In Milan, Italy the copies are made by taking the product, taking it to pieces, laying it out, copying it piece by piece. They copy it down to the stitching detail. It's the quality that allows them to sell for a higher price.

So, what is truly horrid is that boutiques and stores are buying high-quality fakes, they do this and sell them alongside the originals; this means that they can sell all bags at retail but are making a lot more money because they are buying a percentage of their inventory from non-authorized factories/workers - and these bags are not genuine. But, who knows this??
It doesn't surprise me that that happens in Russia. Their economy is totally crooked and corrupt.

Very highly doubt this happens in the US.
It probably does not happen here; but, as the book states, fakes often ride in the same containers as the originals - so, there is always the possibility - counterfeiting supports the economies of nation's like China, it was naive of me to think that this was a small-scale problem/issue.

Tim Phillip's novel heightens your awareness to the fact that counterfeiting is just not about sweatshops anymore. Phillips points out that due to outsourcing the factories contracted to produce the originals are producing extras on the side, these extras get sold to organized crime operations who in turn sell them to the market.

It is a very twisted web.
When the mukarami bags were just released and they were impossible to get my friend went into the Louis Vuitton store in a major city. She started talking to the SA and the SA said she would bump her up on the wait list. A week later she got a call from the LV boutique and she went to pick up the bag. She gave her the money and she received a receipt and the bag. When our other friend came back from italy with the same papillon they compared bags and it turned out the bag she purchased from the LV boutique was a FAKE! She confronted the SA and the SA admitted to printing a fake recepit and selling her a fake, and putting the money in her pocket. It happens everywhere.
I've heard the same thing concerning the jewelry stores, maybe this author includes that but yeah, people go in expecting to buy gold and diamonds and walk out with brass and cubic zirconia.

That's just disappointing if you can't even go to a licensed boutique and purchase a legitimate item. The story concerning the fake CB papillion is especially disturbing !
i feel much more justified now in taking all the time i do to study the bags i want...

does this make anyone else feel hunted? like, they know we're out there, and we want the bags so bad, and most of us wouldn't know the difference if it was a reasonably good fake.
Everything is an illusion isn't it? Makes me want to be extra careful about the cash I'm laying out. I've always suspected this as I unknowingly bought a couple of knock-offs that, boy oh boy, sure look like the real thing. Now I know they may have come from the same place? Yikes! :amazed:

Back to stamp collecting.....